Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, left, and Pierre Batton, right, Detroit Means Business president and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation vice president, listen to ChaVonne McGowan, center, owner of Seeds of Knowledge Creative Learning Center, during its official grand opening in northwest Detroit.
Photo provided by Motor City Match
Seeds of Knowledge Creative Learning Center recently celebrated its opening in Northwest Detroit. The Learning Center and daycare facility is a Motor City Match (MCM) recipient that opened in 2020, but the grand opening was delayed because of the pandemic.
MCM Round 16 gave $50,000 to a cash grant awardee. The Learning Center was among several Black- and female-owned businesses receiving support from MCM, the City of Detroit and DEGC, according to a press release.
During the grand opening Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Kevin Johnson, DEGC President and CEO, joined ChaVonne McGowan, owner of Seeds of Knowledge Creative Learning Center, to celebrate its official grand opening in northwest Detroit.
Located at 15101 W. McNichols Rd., Seeds of Knowledge was awarded $50,000 from MCM in September 2019. It is a multi-faceted child development center offering preschool, virtual learning, after-school programming, and early literacy services to children beginning at six weeks of age, the press release added.
McGowan said Seeds of Knowledge exposes children to inquiry-based science, creative exploration, hands-on activities, and social and environmental awareness. This allows her team to address foundational gaps in a child’s development, so that all students are “beyond prepared” to continue their learning.
“There is no greater calling than preparing our children for the future and Seeds of Knowledge is going to be a great community resource for Detroit families,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “ChaVonne and her team are preparing the children they serve to be successful throughout their future education and in life and we’re so glad she chose to open her business here in Detroit.”
The child development center opened its doors in January 2020 but closed two months later due to the COVID-19 crisis. Seeds of Knowledge reopened in July and has since been operating at 50-percent capacity, which is 20 children. Child safety is McGowan’s top concern and will inform her full reopening plans. McGowan said parents are asking that she expand her business to accommodate the growing wait list.
“This school was formed because of my passion for teaching children of all ages,” said McGowan. “As a professional educator, principal, coach and mom, I’ve been making an impact on children’s lives for over 20 years. My goal is to plant the seeds for a lifetime of learning while providing a place where children can discover the world.”
McGowan said she is fulfilling a lifelong dream and thanks the MCM cash grant for enabling her to create a nurturing learning space.
“In addition to the MCM cash grant, the MCM team connected me with additional resources to help me survive the COVID crisis,” she said. “MCM has provided an extra layer of confidence in ensuring that my new business would be successful.”
Seeds of Knowledge is one of 111 open Motor City Match businesses that received cash grants from the program. Of those businesses, 81 percent are minority-owned, 71 percent are women-owned and 64 percent are owned by Detroit residents. The program continues to have a large and positive impact on Detroit’s small business community, including:
- 25 more MCM businesses are expected to open in 2021
- 981 jobs have been created as a result of open MCM businesses
- $9.5 million in cash grants has been awarded through MCM and Motor City Re-Store, which has leveraged $44.1 million additional investment into Detroit’s neighborhoods
- Over 200 additional businesses that are open and operating as home-based, mobile and ecommerce businesses have been launched
“Motor City Match continues to have a tremendous impact on Detroit,” said Johnson. “Because of MCM more Detroiters are on a path to economic mobility, have been given a chance to pursue their passions, and have access to goods and services in their neighborhoods. We are using all of our MCM learnings to create even stronger support for Detroit’s small business community – the heartbeat of our City.”